With a full year of advocacy work in the rear-view mirror, I can confidently say the push to reform hospital pay parking in British Columbia is showing clear signs of progress. Earlier today I met with the top civil servant (Thank you to Norm Letnick – the Liberal health critic – for your help with this) who has been given the task of assessing the lay of the land, collect and analyze the facts, consider the impact of current policies on the public and then report the findings to Health Minister Dix. A better system is in the works. Unfortunately it will take time, a lot of time. The speed of government is glacial, and only sped up by an approaching election. Currently we’re two and a half years out from one of those.
Among the bottlenecks that exist between our current exploitative pay parking system and something better is the disorganized and highly fractured structure of public health governance and management. What a mess. Health Authorities, Ministries, Hospital Boards, Foundations, etc. Many fingers in the pie but nobody is really sure who’s managing the $21B pie. Meanwhile millions of pay parking dollars continue to careen into the province’s Health Authorities and it’s profit-oriented partners Impark and Robbins. These ill-gotten gains come courtesy of patients and their supporters who are just trying to deal with serious health issues at our public hospitals.
Thanks to a good amount of input from people like you, the hospitalpayparking.ca campaign has been able to put forward a number of novel ideas that are now being seriously considered by those in a position to reform hospital parking methods. The creation of exclusive parking facilities, the integration of municipalities and their resources – including on-street parking, the simple idea of 2 hour free parking and the overwhelming need to use high technology to better manage and secure hospital parking facilities are all bright ideas that should one day lead to a parking system that is fair to everyone.
With respect to my FOI request, it remains in a loooooonnnnnggggg line at the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner. Impark is dead-set against the publicizing of how much money the company collected in 2018 at all Fraser Health hospital facilities from parking tickets alone. They are and will continue to use every method available to them to ensure this information doesn’t get out. They will ultimately fail in this pursuit.